Insights into Halacha

For the week ending 7 February 2015 / 18 Shevat 5775

More Common Kiddush Questions

by Rabbi Yehuda Spitz
Kiddush Bímakom Seudah
The Color of Heaven Artscroll

Have you ever wondered why after partaking of Kiddush in shul, many people nonetheless make Kiddush again at the onset of their Shabbos Day Seudah? If one already fulfilled their Kiddush obligation in shul, what could the requirement possibly be for another at home? How many times must Kiddush be recited? Additionally, if people generally make Kiddush on Mezonos on Shabbos Day, why don’t we do that on Friday night as well? Interestingly, the answers to all of these questions are intertwined. But to gain a proper understanding of the relevant issues, some background is order.

Mattan Torah, the most pivotal event in Jewish history, is prominently featured in this week’s parsha, Parshas Yisro. The fourth of the Aseres Hadibros is the exhortation to remember and keep the Shabbos properly. In fact, the Gemara (Pesachim 106a) teaches us that ‘Zachor es Yom HaShabbos lekadsho[1] is not only the basis of our obligation to make Kiddush upon Shabbos’s entrance on Friday night, but also a support for making Kiddush on Shabbos day.

There are differences, however. Friday night’s Kiddush, marking the beginning of Shabbos, is an actual chiyuv D’oraysa, based on the pasuk.[2] Yet, Shabbos Day’s Kiddush is purely a rabbinic enactment to honor the Shabbos. As the Rashbam (Pesachim 106a s.v. amar) citing the Sheiltos D’Rav Achai Gaon (Parshas Yisro: 54) explains, the reason why we make Kiddush on Shabbos day is in order to show honor to the day, by drinking wine, which highlights the difference between weekday and Shabbos.[3] One practical difference between the two is that the preamble to Friday night Kiddush (Vayechulu) is actually part of the Kiddush, attesting to Hashem’s creation of the world in six days, as opposed to Shabbos Day, when the sum total of the Kiddush is really just the bracha of ‘Hagafen’.[4]

Defining Delight

Yet, there is another integral component to Kiddush besides the Kiddush itself. The Gemara Pesachim (101a), citing Shmuel, and duly codified as halachah,[5] rules that Kiddush must be performed B’makom Seudah, in the same place as a meal. In other words, in order to fulfill the Kiddush obligation, it must serve as the preamble to an actual Seudah.

The Rashbam (ad loc. s.v. af) explains that this halachah is gleaned from the pasuk in Yeshaya (Ch. 58: 13) ‘V’karasa L’Shabbos Oneg, and you will proclaim Shabbos as a delight for you’, meaning in the same place where you proclaim Shabbos (making Kiddush), there must also be the delight (referring to celebrating the Shabbos Seudah).

But now that we know that Kiddush must always come before a Seudah, what exactly must this Seudah consist of? How do we define this ‘delight’? Here is where it gets complicated. Both Tosafos and the Rosh explicitly state that this Seudah must be an actual bread meal,[6] meaning the full Shabbos repast replete with washing,[7] Mayim Acharonim,[8] and Bentching. However, the Tur cites an opinion of the Gaonim that for this halachah, Seudah does not necessarily mean a full Seudah, but rather eating only a bit (‘achal davar mu’at’) or even drinking a cup of wine is sufficient.

The Beis Yosef[9] opines that Tosafos and the Rosh did not mean to actually argue on the Gaonim, but rather they would agree that a full meal is not mandated. In this case, in order to constitute a meal, a small amount of bread would suffice, as would drinking a cup of wine. Although many question the Beis Yosef’s supposition of Tosafos and the Rosh’s opinion,[10] nevertheless, in his Shulchan Aruch, the Beis Yosef codifies this as actual halachah, that one may fulfill his obligation of Kiddush B’makom Seudah utilizing (an additional cup of) wine as his Seudah.[11]

Munching Mezonos

The Magen Avraham takes this ruling a step further.[12] He explains that if a Seudah for Kiddush purposes includes wine, whose bracha is Hagafen,[13] then certainly it would include ‘minei targima’, types of cakes and cookies (of the five grains), whose bracha is Mezonos. This is because in the order of preference of brachos (hamega’eish),[14] Mezonos is considered more important than Hagafen. If so, certainly one may consider noshing on Mezonos as a Seudah for Kiddush purposes.

This novel approachof the Magen Avraham’s was accepted and considered ‘Minhag Yisrael’ by all sectors of world Jewry.[15] That is why by almost any Kiddush in almost any shul anywhere in the world it is de rigeur to have a Kiddush with minei Mezonos as the Seudah.

Kiddush Controversy

However, not every authority agreed with the Magen Avraham’s view. For example, Rabbi Akiva Eiger argues that neither wine nor Mezonos should fit in the Seudah category. Moreover, the Vilna Gaon famously did not rely on this leniency, and made certain that his Kiddush (even on Shabbos day) was exclusively ‘B’makom Seudah Gemurah’, meaning, a full bread Shabbos Seudah, ‘from soup to nuts’.[16] Although here the Vilna Gaon’s shittah is considered a minority opinion, nevertheless, the Pri Megadim, Mishna Berurah, and Aruch Hashulchan all ruled that it is preferable to be particular to perform Kiddush along with a full Seudah.[17] Based on this, as well as the opinions of many Rishonim, there are those who are makpid not to make Kiddush unless as part and parcel of a full bread-based Seudah.

Night or Day?

Although the Magen Avraham did not distinguish between the Friday Night and Shabbos Day Kiddush, and held that his ruling should apply equally, on the other hand, Rav Yitzchok Elchanan Spektor, the Kovno Rav and Gadol Hador of the late 1800s, did. He explained that on Shabbos Day, when Kiddush is only mandated derabbanan, one may certainly rely on Mezonos as a Seudah. Yet, on Friday night, when Kiddush is an actual chiyuv d’oraysa, due to the strength of the opposition to the Magen Avraham’s approach, he maintains that one should not rely on mere Mezonos, but should ensure that Kiddush is recited along with an entire bread-based Seudah.[18]

This is why one does not often see a Friday night Kiddush being performed with Mezonos instead of Hamotzi. An interesting upshot of this shitta is that many Yeshivos, following the Chazon Ish’s precedent based on this approach,[19] do make Kiddush on Simchas Torah night on Mezonos, as the Kiddush on Yom Tov, even at night, is also derabbanan.

Kiddush X 2

This also explains why many are makpid to make Kiddush again as part of their Shabbos Day Seudah at home, even after partaking of Kiddush in shul. As Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, and later Rav Moshe Sternbuch pointed out,[20] although according to the normative halachah Kiddush-goers had already fulfilled their obligation in shul, nevertheless, according to the Vilna Gaon, they have not done so at all. Therefore, they aver, in order to ascertain that one be yotzei Kiddush B’makom Seudah according to all opinions, one should make Kiddush again as part of the actual Seudah.

Rav Moshe Feinstein[21] takes a different approach to explain the halachic preference of making Kiddush again at home. He explains that in his opinion, ‘V’karasa L’Shabbos Oneg’ has a second, opposite meaning - that in a place where one wants to have an oneg (and any additional eating one does on Shabbos is considered oneg as well) he must also make Kiddush. (This would only apply until one has made Kiddush with bread.)

In view of this, Rav Moshe is able to synthesize the opinions of Tosafos and the Rosh with that of the Gaonim. He maintains that Tosafos and the Rosh were referring to the general understanding of the pasuk, that a Seudah for Kiddush requires bread. However, the Gaonim were referring to the secondary understanding of the pasuk, meaning that whenever one wants to eat, one should make Kiddush first. This would include eating Mezonos or even drinking wine, as commonly done at a Kiddush in shul.

It should be clear, however, that according to Rav Moshe, one will not fulfill his full chiyuv of Kiddush B’makom Seudah until making Kiddush again along with a full Seudah.

So the next time you arrive home Shabbos morning to the delicious Seuda waiting, rest assured that by making Kiddush (even after enjoying a Kiddush in shul) you are partaking in the beautiful mitzvah of “V’karasa L’Shabbos Oneg.”[22]

The author wishes to thank Rabbi Eliezer Brodt for making available his unpublished ma’amar on topic.

This article was written L'iluy Nishmas the Rosh HaYeshiva Rav Chonoh Menachem Mendel ben Yechezkel Shraga and R’ Chaim Baruch Yehuda ben Dovid Tzvi, L’Refuah Sheleimah for R’ Shlomo Yoel ben Chaya Leah, Henna Rasha bas Yitta Ratza and Rochel Miriam bas Dreiza Liba, and l’zechus Yaacov Tzvi ben Rivka and Shira Yaffa bas Rochel Miriam v’chol yotzei chalatzeha for a yeshua sheleimah teikif u’miyad!

For any questions, comments or for the full Mareh Mekomos / sources, please email the author: yspitz@ohr.edu.



[1] Parshas Yisro (Ch. 20: 7 - 11). Although not exact to the lashon of the Aseres Hadibros featured in Parshas Va’eschanan (Ch. 5: 12), ‘Shamor es Yom HaShabbos Lekadsho’, nevertheless, we know that ‘Shamor V’Zachor B’Dibbur Echad’ (as mentioned in Rav Shlomo Alkabetz’s timeless ‘Lecha Dodi’). In fact, it is precisely this nuance that teaches us the joint obligations of positive and negative commandments (Zachor V’Shamor) on Shabbos, which obligates women the same as men. This was discussed at length in a previous article titled ‘Facts and Formulae for the Forgetful’.

[2] See Gemara Brachos (20b & 27b), Rambam (Hilchos Shabbos Ch. 29: 1 & 4), Sefer HaChinuch (Parshas Yisro: Mitzva 31), Tur & Shulchan Aruch and main commentaries (Orach Chaim 271) at length, and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (77: 1).

[3] Similar sevaros are given by other Rishonim, including the Meiri and Tosafos Ri”d in their commentaries (Pesachim ad loc.). See also Shulchan Aruch HaRav (Orach Chaim 289: 2) and Aruch Hashulchan (ad loc. 3).

[4] This nuance, as well as its practical ramifications, was discussed at great length in a previous article titled ‘Common Kiddush Questions’.

[5] See Rif (Pesachim 20a), Rosh (ad loc. Ch. 10: 5), Tosafos (ad loc. 100b s.v. yedei Kiddush), Rambam (Hilchos Shabbos, Ch. 29: 8 & 10), and Tur and Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 273: 1).

[6] Tosafos (Pesachim 101a s.v. ta’eemo) and Rosh (ad loc. Ch. 10: 5). Tur (Orach Chaim 273: 5).

[7] Several issues related to what types of water with which one may wash Netillas Yadim were discussed in a previous article titled ‘The Colored Water Caper’.

[8] The importance of Mayim Acharonim was discussed in detail in a previous article titled ‘Mayim Acharonim, Chovah?’.

[9] Beis Yosef (Orach Chaim 273: 5 s.v. kasvu Hagaonim).

[10] For example, the Drisha (Orach Chaim 269: 3 s.v. ode) argues that although this shitta of the Gaonim would fit with the Rambam’s (Hilchos Brachos, Ch. 4: 1) and the Rashbam’s (Pesachim 101b s.v. aval) definition of Seudah, nevertheless, it cannot fit with the shitta of Tosafos and the Rosh; an assessment later shared by Rabbi Akiva Eiger (Orach Chaim 273: 7), the Mekor Chaim (ad loc.), the Tosefes Shabbos (ad loc. 11), and the Erech Hashulchan (ad loc.). Rav Yitzchok Elchanan Spektor (Shu”t Ein Yitzchok Orach Chaim, 12: 7), Rav Yitzchok Isaac Chaver (Shu”t Binyan Olam 8), and Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky as well (Emes L’Yaakov on Pesachim 51b and Emes L’Yaakov on Tur & Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 273: 5) conclude that the Beis Yosef’s position is tzarich iyun. Additionally, Rav Nitronaei Gaon (Shu”t Hagaonim,Orach Chaim 79), and as well as other Rishonim, including Rabbeinu Yonah (Ch. 7, 36b in the Rif’s pages, s.v. birchas) and the Rashba (Shu”t vol. 5: 212, and in his commentary to Brachos 51b s.v. shehayayin), maintain that Seudah can only mean a bread-based meal. However, several Acharonim do suggest different mehalchim to answer up these kushyos; see the Maharsham’s Daas Torah (Orach Chaim 273: 5 s.v. kasvu Hagaonim), Shu”t Beis She’arim (96), and Shu”t Minchas Yitzchok (vol. 8: 46, 2) for possible solutions. Rav Moshe Feinstein as well (Shu”t Igros Moshe, Orach Chaim vol. 4: 63, 7 & 8; cited later on in the article) proposes a novel approach to solve the issues.

[11] The Be’er Heitiv (Orach Chaim 273: 6), citing the Bach (ad loc. 3 s.v. aval), Levush (ad loc. 5), and Taz (ad loc. 4), explains that an additional cup of wine (or at least another reviis), aside for the one drunk as Kiddush, must be drunk as the Seudah.

[12] Magen Avraham (Orach Chaim 273: 11).

[13] Or is it Hage fen? This was discussed in a previous article titled ‘Geshemor Gashem?!’.

[14] Hamega’eish: Hamotzi, Mezonos, Hagafen, Ha’eitz, Ha’adamah, Shehakol.

[15] See Shu”t Ginas Veradim (Orach Chaim 3: 12), Birkei Yosef (Orach Chaim 273, 2 & 6), Be’er Heitiv (ad loc. 7), Shaarei Teshuva (ad loc. 7), Shulchan Aruch Harav (ad loc. 7; interestingly, in the next siman: 5, he writes that even so, one must have another Seudah on bread, as the Mezonos at a Kiddush does not constitute a meal to fulfill one of his three Shabbos Seudah obligations), Pri Megadim (ad loc. Eishel Avrohom 11), Chayei Adam (vol. 2, 6: 22), Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (77, 14), Ben Ish Chai (Year 2, Parshas Bereishis 7), Aruch Hashulchan (Orach Chaim 273: 8), Mishna Berurah (ad loc. 25), and Kaf Hachaim (ad loc. 41). Many contemporary poskim as well, including Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (see Halichos Shlomo on Moadim vol. 1, Ch. 1: footnote 72 and Va’aleihu Lo Yibol vol. 1 pg. 141), Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv (Kovetz Teshuvos vol. 1: 24 s.v. umei), and Rav Moshe Feinstein (see footnote 21), rule that the ikar halachah follows the ruling of the Magen Avraham.

[16] Rabbi Akiva Eiger (Orach Chaim 273, 7 & 9), based on the words of Talmidei Rabbeinu Yonah in Brachos (ibid.) that the Magen Avraham himself cites in Orach Chaim (188: 9). The Gr”a’s shitta is recorded in Ma’aseh Rav (122) and cited in Biur Halacha (275: 5 s.v. kasvu). See also footnote 10.

[17]Although, in his Mishna Berurah (ibid.), the Chofetz Chaim fully rules like the Magen Avraham, on the other hand, in his Biur Halacha (ibid.), he only cites the Vilna Gaon’s opinion, implying his predilection to be machmir for this shittah. This is similar to the Pri Megadim, who, likewise, in Orach Chaim 273 (ibid.) rules like the Mogen Avrohom, but in Orach Chaim 271 (Eishel Avrohom 3), he writes that ‘mikol makom lechatchilla tov pas’. The Aruch Hashulchan (ibid.) as well, although stating that the ikar halachah follows the Magen Avraham’s ruling, nevertheless concludes that it is preferred (mehadrin) to be makpid on only making Kiddush with a full Seudah. Several contemporary sefarim including Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa (vol. 2, Ch. 54: 22) and Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 273: 9, in the parenthesis) write that indeed it is preferable to be machmir on making Kiddush with actual pas as the Seudah. It is recorded (Orchos Rabbeinu vol. 1, pg. 125) that the Chazon Ish was machmir for the Gr”a’s shittah for himself, but not for others.

[18] Shu”t Ein Yitzchok (Orach Chaim, 12: 11). See also the lashon in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (77, 14), who implies this way as well.

[19] See Shu”t Ein Yitzchok (ibid. 5) who explains at length that the obligation for Kiddush on Yom Tov is derabbanan. The Chazon Ish’s ruling for making Kiddush on Mezonos as the Seudah on Simchas Torah night is widely known; it is cited in Piskei Teshuvos (273, end footnote 68), and is customary in many Yeshivos.

[20] Shu”t Salmas Chaim (old print vol. 1: 59; new print Orach Chaim 255) and Shu”t Teshuvos V’Hanhagos (vol. 1: 264). This is similar to Rav Yosef Eliyahu Henkin’s assessment (Shu”t Gevuros Eliyahu vol. 1: 83 s.v. umatzinu) of why one who makes Kiddush as part of davening in shul is not yotzei and nevertheless needs to make Kiddush again at his Seudah at home. Rav Henkin explains that ‘lo yotzai’ here does not mean that he was not allowed to do so, but rather that he still has not yet fulfilled his obligation; as such, he must be metaken and mashlim his chiyuv by making Kiddush at his Seudah.

[21] Shu”t Igros Moshe (Orach Chaim vol. 4: 63, 7 & 8). See also Shu”t Vedibarta Bam (72), quoting Rav Dovid Feinstein. According to this understanding, Rav Moshe also rules that the ikar din follows the Magen Avraham, that one may make Kiddush on Mezonos. However one will not have fully fulfilled his obligation of Kiddush B’Makom Seudah until making Kiddush again as part of a full bread-based Seudah.

[22] For more issues related to Kiddush B’makom Seudah see R’ Zvi Ryzman’s Ratz KaTzvi (vol. 1: 11) and Shu”t Divrei Pinchas (vol. 1: 27).


Disclaimer: This is not a comprehensive guide, rather a brief summary to raise awareness of the issues. In any real case one should ask a competent Halachic authority.


L'iluy Nishmas the Rosh HaYeshiva - Rav Chonoh Menachem Mendel ben R' Yechezkel Shraga, Rav Yaakov Yeshaya ben R' Boruch Yehuda, and l'zchus for Shira Yaffa bas Rochel Miriam and her children for a yeshua teikef u'miyad!

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